Kitless pens

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  1. #1
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    Kitless pens

    Just thinking should I have a dabble at kitless pens what is the minimum equipment required,various sizes tape and dies etc


     
     
  2. #2
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    Warm up your card and bank account mate,weigh up the advantages versa costs,the real time making and the need for real salesmanship and another market altogether. No such thing as a free method you are contemplating.

    Peter.
    Nil Desperandum

     
     
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  4. #3
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    Aye the taps and dies are kind of expensive

     
     
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    Turnaround 360, use to get taps and dies cheap of ebay 10.75 mm and 12.75 mm by memory.

    COOPER 01/08/1998-31/01/2012

     
     
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    I have only made 3 so probably not best positioned to advise. That said - Happy to share what I purchased to 'get going'.

    As Mark said, some cheap taps and dies (buying a set worked out cheaper for me than buying individual sizes)
    A tap to match the thread of the nib you are using for the section. (I could be wrong - this is usually specialist. If you use Beaufort nibs for example, Beaufort also provide the matching tap).
    Aluminium rods (I use for making closed mandrels).
    Tailstock die holder
    Collet Chuck set
    Centre drill bits
    Drill bits 7mm-12mm.

    Assuming that you don't need to purchase the basics, I managed to pick up all the above for under 200.
    Measure Twice, cut once, then force it to fit.

     
     
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  8. #6
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    More or less what Tony said.

    The only specialist tap you need to begin with is the one to fit a nib housing to the inside of the Section. You can hone your designs and skills for all the other threads using roughly appropriate sized taps and dies from B&Q, and improvised tools from stuff you can make or will already own as a woodturner. The time to start investing in the proper stuff is when you're confident that your designs will work and that you've got to grips with the technical side and methodology.

    I make a living from selling this stuff so I shouldn't be saying it really, but I'm a great advocate of buying tools to fulfil a identified need, rather than tooling up just in case a need arises. As time goes by, you will definitely need to invest in the proper taps and dies to fit the cap - pen customers in the market for a kitless or custom pen don't want to spend ages getting the cap off, they want to do it quickly, which is what triple lead threads will achieve, and single leads from B&Q won't. You may find, with the benefit of experience that you want a better holding method than a jamb chuck and jacobs chuck. You can certainly get away with those to start, but a collet chuck might be better in the long term. A morse taper die holder is another tool that you can do without to start with, but might be a benefit to have in the long run, and so the list goes on.

    As I say though, you don't need any of that to begin with, just the taps for the inside of your section. All the rest, you will find out whether or not you need as time goes by and as your experience increases.
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  9. #7
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    Hi Phil,I dont usually mind buying the right tools for the job if one cant improvise I have a collet chuck so thats a start the biggest expenditure seems to be the triple start dies and matching tap,I dont really see much point in making pens you have umpteen turns to remove cap as that is not what I would want if I was a customer,I f you were buying one set which size would you reccomend,the morse taper die holder would that be the sliding one,Axminster has one.

     
     
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    What size thread for the cap is a difficult question to answer Alan, as it relies on so many other things.

    Before you can arrive at the answer you first have to consider the requirement to get an ink converter in and out of the pen, which requires a minimum clearance of 8mm, and preferably a tad more. It comes out through the middle of the thread that holds the section in place. You probably already know that to calculate the hole you drill in order to tap a thread, (the minor diameter) you subtract the pitch of the thread from its major diameter - therefore for instance, if you used a thread of say 9x1 you would need to drill at 8mm. That would give you the clearance you need for the converter, so all well and good. 9x0.75 or x0.7 would be even better since the thread would be a bit finer and the clearance would be a bit greater.

    So now you've got a hole of at least 8mm and a thread of, we've said 9mm. The size of that thread however could be greater, depending on your design, but I'll stick with 9 for the purposes of this explanation.

    The material the that the thread is cut in to though, has a thickness - the wall on the outside of the thread, which could easily vary depending on the size of the pen, the size of the nib you want to use, and the medium you're using. If you assume though that the wall is 1mm thick all round, that adds another 2mm to the 9mm you already have, so you're up to 11mm. It could be a lot more than that if you're designing a fat pen, or less if you're designing a thin pen and using something like aluminium to make it from.

    If you go with 11mm for now though, and assume that you're putting your cap thread directly over your section connector thread, that 11mm represents the minimum size of the minor diameter of the cap thread - the diameter of the troughs of the male cap thread. The minor is, as I've already mentioned, major minus pitch, so in this instance, 12x0.8 would do the job, and you'd actually size the thing to 12 instead of 11mm. (in fact a shade under 12, but that's a different matter for another time)

    The best thing to do is to sit down with paper and pencil, an eraser and your favourite dram, and start working out how you want it to look, and the geometry necessary to achieve it. Knock up some prototypes using what you've got or what you can afford to buy on the understanding that you might have bought the wrong thing, then once you've got it all sorted both in theory and in practice, invest in the size of triple lead taps you've landed on. It probably will be 12x0.8 - that's certainly the most popular size, but you might find that you want to go for something else for whatever reason.

    I hope that helps

    Edit: Yes, the Axi MT die holder will do the job as good as any. Unless you're going for a 14mm thread, which I doubt, all our triple lead dies are 1 inch diameter. The 14mm is 1.5" but the Axi unit will hold that one too
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  12. #9
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    I always fancied having a go at making kitless pens, but after reading all this in reality I don’t think I’ll ever have time, it sounds like there’s a lot more work in designing etc than meets the eye.
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  13. #10
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    I made a few a long time ago it seems and will again. My firsts were with a 14mm triple that I bought in an IAP ('merican forum) group buy. I also wanted to use the Schmidt Rolling Writer because it used the same tap as a #5 Schmidt fountain pen nib/feed/housing set. Not the easiest to find. So I had got that tap. I used a standard 5/16 UNF tap and die because I had them in my set. I started with the section and worked my way out measuring and fitting as I went. No master piece by any means but it wrote. I also didn't have any fancy die holder so I gripped it with the chuck and hand fed the piece using the tailstock as support. Tapping was done with the "T" tap handle with the end supported by the live centre, turning it in at the same time as the tap. All this to point out you don't need to spend a lot to get started.

    Now If I were to do it again I would get the nib I wanted, matching tap and drill bit. A 9mm or 10mm tap/die with a .75 thread pitch (they are cheap so getting both isn't the end of the world) for the section. Inexpensive ones are good enough. I would also get a 12mm,13mm, and maybe a 14mm with a .75 pitch taps/dies but only standard single threads. The reason is to learn with and they are a lot cheaper than getting a triple. You only need to cut the threads long enough to turn a couple times or so to work without taking forever to cap/uncap. Once you made a few and have settled on a size or two you can spring for the triples. You'll need drill bits for all too, both clearance and tap drill sizes. Get some inexpensive acrylic blanks to make those practice pens from and get at least 2 of each because you can't make a kitless with a single blank. Make sure they are the softer garden variety acrylics and not cast or inlace acrylester stuff that is brittle and doesn't thread. If you are wanting to put clips on you'll need to get a tap/die for them unless the 9mm or 10mm will do.

    As far as tools first up is a good calliper and I'll leave it to you to decide whether you go with the vernier, dial or electronic digital. You could spring for the tap/die holding sets already mentioned or wait until you know if you're staying with kitless. In the meantime a regular tap handle and your live centre covers that and there are inexpensive die holders that you can slide on a rod (transfer punches, pen disassembly set etc) held in a tailstock chuck. 1 " Machine Dieholder | Chronos Engineering Supplies for example. You can easily turn them by hand and again pop for the better sets when you can. Note there are two sides to a die. The side with the writing starts the thread but if you want to cut to a shoulder turn the die around in the holder to finish the thread. Cleaner crisper work that way. As you already turned pen you probably have the chucks and centres you need. While a collet chuck is nice you can get by with a wood chuck to hold the parts. I use cooking oil to lube the tap and dies when cutting threads. Just clean good after or it dries and gets sticky.

    If you are wanting to do rollerballs, ballpoint, clickers or twist you'll need to get different parts and tools but you get the stuff needed to play with them.

    I recommend you join the IAP and look through their Library. There are a number of tutorials on making kitless pens that will help you with the overall designing and the way to sequence your work.

    Pete

     
     
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